• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Schools, how to make them better.

Ban private schools because Finland has the right idea.


  • Total voters
    33

The Mark

Sporadic insanity normal.
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
26,668
Reaction score
6,745
Location
Pennsylvania
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
i believe your premise is in error

if my community has 100 children of school age
but 20 of those children attend a private school, the cost of which is paid by their parents/guardians
then those remaining 80 students benefit
a public school expected to teach 100 is now only teaching 80, increasing the funding per capita to educate the students in public school

i am guessing that your objection is to charter schools, which schools receive a portion of the public school budget in order to operate
I definitely object to charter schools and/or school vouchers.

But I'm thinking that making all the schools public and publicly funded means that all the parents, including those 20 who would in the current system send their kids to private schools, will be pushing the community leadership to ensure those schools are good.

It puts all the political pressure on getting good schools for everyone, rather than taking the pressure the wealthier among us could bring to bear on the issue and reducing it.

Because we all know wealthier people have more political influence, currently.


I mean, if we reduce that imbalance as well it would also help, but still.
 

The Mark

Sporadic insanity normal.
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
26,668
Reaction score
6,745
Location
Pennsylvania
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
It would help a little, but my point is that you're never going to "fix" the system with money.
Not JUST money, no.
 

The Mark

Sporadic insanity normal.
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
26,668
Reaction score
6,745
Location
Pennsylvania
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
The United States spent more than $11,000 per elementary student in 2010 and more than $12,000 per high school student.
When researchers factored in the cost for programs after high school education such as college or vocational training, the United
States spent $15,171 on each young person in the system — more than any other nation covered in the report.
That sum inched past some developed countries and far surpassed others. Switzerland's total spending per student was $14,922
while Mexico averaged $2,993 in 2010. The average OECD nation spent $9,313 per young person.

How much more money do you suggest go to education! Why throw good new money into the problem after the bad
Perhaps we should examine why it costs more for less and address those issues?
 

The Mark

Sporadic insanity normal.
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
26,668
Reaction score
6,745
Location
Pennsylvania
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
We have a great school district - small by California standards. Houses in the district sell like hotcakes*. Just west of us is a new subdivision where home sales have stalled. Why? It's in a crappy school district.

California liberals are liberal as hell until it comes time to make personal choices - walled, gated communities, schools for their kids, private schools to keep them away from your kids. The only reason private schools hurt public schools is the education is better.

*our church was going to open a second Catholic school but the local district is so good, the plans were abandoned. Schools and safety are two of the most important things to families.

My thought was that by making all schools public, it would require all schools to be better, since there would be no private exclusive option.
 

The Mark

Sporadic insanity normal.
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
26,668
Reaction score
6,745
Location
Pennsylvania
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
This is a concept that makes no sense.

For one, school system salaries are paid by real estate taxes. Also, some of the poorest performing school systems in the country are also the best funded. The country of Uganda has a higher literacy rate than Detroit public schools... how can this be if the problem is financial?

Moreover, over 90% of school funding is paid by state and local taxes, so private schools don't take from the public school coffers since those who send their kids to private school still pay, for instance, real estate taxes.
It's obviously not JUST a matter of funding, but if there's no private exclusive schools to draw off political will and students, I think overall schools will improve.


But I doubt we'll do that anytime soon.
 

Tom Horn

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2018
Messages
1,854
Reaction score
207
Location
TEXAS
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
It's working for Finland, so I figure we should see why it does and learn from it.

Yes. Maybe we should. But they need to be tested yearly. You want your 12 year old son to be reading “ see dog run “ on his testing paper? I don’t. I want nuclear medicine questions on it.
 

The Mark

Sporadic insanity normal.
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
26,668
Reaction score
6,745
Location
Pennsylvania
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
Yes. Maybe we should. But they need to be tested yearly. You want your 12 year old son to be reading “ see dog run “ on his testing paper? I don’t. I want nuclear medicine questions on it.
It is my understanding that standardized testing is not effective in ensuring results.

I expect any decent teacher will test their charges to be sure they are getting educated, but with small class sizes a good teacher would already know without testing.

Essentially I'm saying small class sizes, trust the teachers, and far fewer standardized tests, if any.

https://bigthink.com/mike-colagross...nds-education-system-in-the-best-in-the-world
 
Last edited:

Tom Horn

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2018
Messages
1,854
Reaction score
207
Location
TEXAS
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
It is my understanding that standardized testing is not effective in ensuring results.

I don’t care. Mine read the DeVinci code by fifth grade. Did the enigma thingy in sixth. And yes, online nuclear medicine in 8th. Went into the navy with three stripes and 26 credits of college at 18 into Chicago. Most people he knew were dumb as rocks. There were a few brilliant ones though.
 

Xelor

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
10,257
Reaction score
4,161
Location
Washington, D.C.
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Of course it is because Finland has few minorities. Its a one size fits all country school system.

That definitely drives down cost to educate students by reducing the nature and extent of pedagogical variety needed, but I haven't come by any research that indicates how that contributes to scholastic/academic outcome realization.

There is also the matter than when citizens pay at the tax rates -- corporate, personal, social security, and sales taxes -- Fins do, they damn sight had better have outstanding scholastic outcomes. Those rates are material to why Finland has, assuming the OP-er's information is accurate, a 6:1 student-teacher ratio. Americans would have conniptions over tax rates comparable to Finland's; however, the fact remains that Finland's are also the world's happiest people, so it stands to reason that Fins think they are getting their money's worth from the taxes they pay.
 

Phys251

Anti-vax rhetoric threatens our liberty
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 24, 2011
Messages
42,833
Reaction score
24,939
Location
Georgia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Liberal
That's up to the individual states, there is no requirement that they provide it, thus it cannot be a right by definition.

Let's assume for the moment that that's true. What then? Should a state close all its public schools? Leave education only to those who can afford it? Where would that leave a society?
 

Bullseye

Fund police; Defund the politicians
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
34,113
Reaction score
11,347
Location
San Diego
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Standardized tests are bad too.

But I don't think any reasonable person would claim that just throwing money at it would result in a fix.
But that seems like the OP is suggesting.

I'm not opposed to standardized tests as long as the measure what the student is supposed to learn. For instance if the curriculum requires that a student be able to calculate percentages then it's legitimate to test the students' ability to do so. Or if the student is required to identify the three branches of the US government he should be able to do so.


I have little sympathy for teachers complain about having to "teach to the test" IF the test is designed to teach what curriculum requires to be taught at each grade level. If their NOT teaching what they are supposed to, their not doing their jobs. Before I get beat to death on this let me say I also am in favor of teachers SUPPLEMENTING or ENRICHING topics if time is available.
 

Rexedgar

Yo-Semite!
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Apr 6, 2017
Messages
38,301
Reaction score
24,651
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Let's assume for the moment that that's true. What then? Should a state close all its public schools? Leave education only to those who can afford it? Where would that leave a society?

We are heading in a direction where we may find out, imo. Maybe not our lifetime.
 

jmotivator

No longer monitoring
DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Messages
27,897
Reaction score
13,957
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Conservative
It's obviously not JUST a matter of funding, but if there's no private exclusive schools to draw off political will and students, I think overall schools will improve.

But I doubt we'll do that anytime soon.

"Political Will"? Interesting concept. Maybe rather than the draconian state takeover forcing EVERYONE into public school you can just force elected officials to send their kids to public school.

Never trust a meal the chef won't eat.
 

The Mark

Sporadic insanity normal.
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
26,668
Reaction score
6,745
Location
Pennsylvania
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
I don’t care. Mine read the DeVinci code by fifth grade. Did the enigma thingy in sixth. And yes, online nuclear medicine in 8th. Went into the navy with three stripes and 26 credits of college at 18 into Chicago. Most people he knew were dumb as rocks. There were a few brilliant ones though.
I'm not sure what you're arguing.

That your kid is a genius and thus deserved the option to get accelerated education?

I'm not arguing for treating all children the same.
 

The Mark

Sporadic insanity normal.
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
26,668
Reaction score
6,745
Location
Pennsylvania
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
But that seems like the OP is suggesting.

I'm not opposed to standardized tests as long as the measure what the student is supposed to learn. For instance if the curriculum requires that a student be able to calculate percentages then it's legitimate to test the students' ability to do so. Or if the student is required to identify the three branches of the US government he should be able to do so.


I have little sympathy for teachers complain about having to "teach to the test" IF the test is designed to teach what curriculum requires to be taught at each grade level. If their NOT teaching what they are supposed to, their not doing their jobs. Before I get beat to death on this let me say I also am in favor of teachers SUPPLEMENTING or ENRICHING topics if time is available.
I think standardized tests combined with over-sized classes will result in just teaching to the test, because what else would there be time for, if that.


Smaller class sizes is likely the most important part, but the high teacher quality in Finland is also part of it.
Every single one has a masters degree, apparently.
 

The Mark

Sporadic insanity normal.
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Sep 9, 2005
Messages
26,668
Reaction score
6,745
Location
Pennsylvania
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
"Political Will"? Interesting concept. Maybe rather than the draconian state takeover forcing EVERYONE into public school you can just force elected officials to send their kids to public school.

Never trust a meal the chef won't eat.
If all the schools are public, then they would have to as well, wouldn't they.
 

Cephus

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 15, 2007
Messages
31,034
Reaction score
11,932
Location
CA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
Let's assume for the moment that that's true. What then? Should a state close all its public schools? Leave education only to those who can afford it? Where would that leave a society?

We don't have to assume that it's true, it demonstrably is. What a state does is up to the people of that state. You're trying to get an ought from an is.
 

trouble13

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 28, 2014
Messages
38,350
Reaction score
8,812
So, Finland has the best schools in the world in many categories.

Part of their method to get there was banning private schools.
They don't test children until high school.
They have small class sizes (20?) and I think 3 teachers per class.

Should we do this in the USA?

If not, why?



Edit: To clarify my argument, allowing private schools clearly results in public schools being underfunded and understaffed, thus children getting poor educations.

I find that result unacceptable, and it seems that in Finland, banning private schools addressed it by only giving the public school option.

This means that they have to get sufficient funding so that everyone gets good education, or the children of parents who currently send their kids to private school (because of course they would, since the public schools have so many problems) won't get the education their children deserve.

It puts all the people behind making the schools very good, and all children benefit as a result.

The downside is only that thousands of private schools will have to be ended, or made public.


That seems a decent trade.
How are we defining best?

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

Bullseye

Fund police; Defund the politicians
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
34,113
Reaction score
11,347
Location
San Diego
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
I think standardized tests combined with over-sized classes will result in just teaching to the test, because what else would there be time for, if that.
But if the test measures what the students are supposed to learn, why is that a problem? Get the basics down first.

The Mark said:
Smaller class sizes is likely the most important part, but the high teacher quality in Finland is also part of it.
Every single one has a masters degree, apparently.
Or that Finland is a small, homogenous society, with little gang or drug problems.
 

Phys251

Anti-vax rhetoric threatens our liberty
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 24, 2011
Messages
42,833
Reaction score
24,939
Location
Georgia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Liberal
We don't have to assume that it's true, it demonstrably is. What a state does is up to the people of that state. You're trying to get an ought from an is.

Ah, maybe we are talking past each other. You are describing the current legal status, and I am making a moral argument in favor of public education.
 

Cephus

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 15, 2007
Messages
31,034
Reaction score
11,932
Location
CA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
Ah, maybe we are talking past each other. You are describing the current legal status, and I am making a moral argument in favor of public education.

Morality is meaningless. Try reality.
 

Cephus

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 15, 2007
Messages
31,034
Reaction score
11,932
Location
CA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
That's a vacuous reply. Try again.

No, it isn't. Education is not a right in the reality that we live in. That you WANT it to be is irrelevant. It is not.
 

Phys251

Anti-vax rhetoric threatens our liberty
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 24, 2011
Messages
42,833
Reaction score
24,939
Location
Georgia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Liberal

Cephus

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 15, 2007
Messages
31,034
Reaction score
11,932
Location
CA
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
Both of those statements are vacuous.

The only thing vacuous around here is you. I'm discussing reality. If you want to discuss your fantasies, go elsewhere.
 
Top Bottom